Dive into the Legend of Lake Baikal on this glorious summer excursion to the glittering Blue Pearl of Russia. Plummeting to 1,642m at its deepest point, Baikal is also the world’s most voluminous lake. Its mirror-clear waters are a reflection of Siberia’s wildness, its vastness, and its beauty. Baikal is a place where shamans still speak to the spirit world, wildlife-rich virgin forests thrive and lake-living seals fish and frolic in freshwater. Surrounded by jagged mountains and taiga of pine, fir, and cedar, Lake Baikal is a protected World Heritage site. Unsurprisingly, it is the most famous attraction in Siberia, but Baikal's sheer size means there's always an escape from the crowds.
3* hotel, guesthouses
Type of tour
6 days / 5 nights
up to 8 people
Welcome to Irkutsk, a fascinating city on the Trans-Siberian Railway and the gateway to Lake Baikal. Meet a guide at the airport, jump onto a coach for a picturesque drive (68 km) to Listvyanka village, located on the western shore of the Lake Baikal. Along the way, you will visit the fascinating ethnography museum-complex of wooden architecture called "Taltsy". Here you will experience walking through the Siberian streets of the 18th century.
Upon arrival at Listvyanka village, a cozy fishermen settlement, you will enjoy a lunch and try the Siberian cuisine. After lunch, you will visit the Baikal Museum, where you’ll discover more about the lake’s history and unique forms of flora and fauna. You will also visit the aquarium and meet the playful Baikal Seals that inhabit the lake. This day will finish with a spectacular view of the southern part of Lake Baikal from the Cherskogo Rock lookout.
*The tour starts at 10 am, so please make sure you arrive in Irkutsk not later than 9:45 am. Pre-tour extensions, such as hotel accommodation and transfers can be secured by us upon booking, contact us for more info.
Today you will enjoy a cruise to the opposite shore of the Lake, located in Buryatia region. After breakfast at the hotel, you will be picked up by your guide and transferred to the pier. On a mini cruise to Tankhoy village, you will cross Lake Baikal and find yourself in the Baikal Nature Reserve. Here the high tundra is perfectly adjacent to the fir-cedar taiga. You will visit the tourist centre, where we will learn about the reserve, after, accompanied by the ranger, we make a short hike towards the river Osinovka, to see the picturesque waterfall. Enjoy lunch with homemade delicacies at a hunters hut located next to the mountain river in a creek valley.
After resting in nature, we head back to Listvyanka. The rest of the day is free; you may take a walk along the embankment and go shopping at the local fish market.
Today, you will embark on a 5h drive to the very heart of Baikal - the island of Olkhon. During the journey to the island, you will be amazed by incredibly picturesque landscapes, sacred places and natural beauty of the area.
At the beginning of our journey, we stop at several locations in Irkutsk to explore its architecture and see the main sights. One hour drive from Irkutsk we will stop at the Golden Horde ethnic park where you can connect with the culture of the indigenous population of Baikal area – to listen to fascinating throat singing, to have a lunch in the big Buryat yurta and to take a part in master-class of making traditional Buryat dishes - buuzy meat dumplings.
Next, we drive along the magnificent Tazheran Steppe, which once was home to the first indigenous Baikal peoples, whose petroglyphs are found at the tribal encampment sites.
Afterward, we board a boat for a short ride to Ogoy Island. This Island has never been inhabited by people and it is considered to be “a pure land”, that is free of negative energy. More than ten years ago the Stupa of Enlightenment was established here. It is considered that Buddhist stupas are meant to dissolve negative interferences in the world, favour locality and benefit to people especially to those who visit them consciously.
Upon arrival to Olkoh Island, you will be transferred to the hotel in Khuzir village, where you may take your time to relax or take a stroll to the most famous place of Lake Baikal - Cape Burkhan to enjoy the sunset.
This morning, you will have the opportunity to spend time at your discretion: sunbathing on the beach, riding a quad bike or just walking, enjoying nature. Closer to noon, after lunch, you will embark on an excursion to the Northeast part of the island - Khoboy Cape.
This trip from south to north will take appx 5 hours and will allow you to discover the beauty of the island. First, the road will pass through a small forest, then you will observe the hills and steppes. Next, you will see unique "rock complexes", Sagan-Khushun ("Three Brothers"), and finally, you will arrive at the very north of the island - Cape Khoboy (in translation from Buryat"fang"), a very special and sacred place. Here you feel yourself both on the edge of the island and on the edge of the Earth, you will see endless water expanses of Baikal that will make you feel like a part of the universe. Cliffy rocks, absolute silence, the infinity of the sky and the watery surface - it seems as if Eternity settled here. After picnic lunch at one of the most beautiful locations, we head back to Khuzhir village.
Time to say goodbye to beautiful Lake Baikal as our journey is coming to the end. The first half of the day we won't be rushed so you will have an opportunity to stay alone with yourself, to spend this day in your own way and to say goodbye to this places that already imprinted on your heart for such a short time.
Towards the evening the group will get together and will depart to the southern part of the Island. Here we will get on board of the speedboat, you will glide along the picturesque west coast of Baikal – rocky coasts, green forest, colourful beaches, blue sky and fluffy clouds will float far away – catch the moment! And far off you can see beautiful Khamar-Daban peaks – the mountains on the east coast of Baikal.
In the late evening, you will arrive at Listvyanka from where you will be transferred by bus straight away to Irkutsk. Accommodation in a comfortable hotel.
After breakfast in the hotel, a transfer to the airport will be organised.
3* hotel accommodation in Irkutsk, guest houses in Listvyanka and Olkhon
Breakfast in the hotels, picnic lunches during day excursions, dinners in the hotels
Group arrival and departure airport transfers
All transportation according to the itinerary (coach, 4wd car, boat)
Local English-speaking tour leader
All activities and sights indicated in the itinerary (except optional)
Russian visa support documents
*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for a comprehensive visa service here.
Flights, travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, individual transfers, tips
|Jul 9 - Jul 14, 2019
|Available||US $1,850||US $250||Reserve|
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